Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Knitting Cabinet

Last year Teresa re-celebrated her 39th birthday. To commemorate the event I made a special gift in the form of a Knitting Cabinet.

It took a great deal of planning to work out the design of this piece because multiple considerations had to be factored in. For one thing there had to be storage for multiple skeins (balls) of yarn. Since she sometimes takes on larger projects using multiple skeins it seemed prudent to have a flexible array of cubbies for storage.

In addition to the yarn she actually knits with Teresa also has a core stash of yarn which originally belonged to her late mother. The required an additional deep drawer for storage.

For the cabinet interior I used aromatic cedar, and made the dovetailed drawers out of the same material. Concealed Blumotion linear ball bearing slides allow the drawers to be opened and closed with little effort.

The cabinet exterior was crafted from a rare sampling of Curly Birds Eye Maple which is part of my own core stash of wood. Corner beads of solid Makore were inlaid to help accentuate the grain of the lighter wood. The inlays also help to visually integrate the main cabinet with the wood on the supporting base. The base was fitted together with mortise and tenon joinery.

As an avid knitter Teresa is particularly fond of her collection of ebony and rosewood needles. For these I created a dedicated drawer with interlocking horizontal storage to accomodate all the various sized needles.

Special supports were crafted out of solid domestic sycamore, with each support made of a series of specially shaped pockets that can hold any size of needle diameter. (The syamore turned out to be extremely well suited for this task since its fine grain allowed for very precise cuts without chipping or breaking.)

An additional drawer stores patterns and miscellaneous supplies.

The interior was left unfinished to allow the Cedar to freely respirate, thereby permeating the cabinet with its scent. The Curly Birds Eye Maple and Makore exterior was hand rubbed with boiled linseed oil.

On the large drop lid door I wanted to personalize the design with a customized detail. After much contemplation I decided to commission a custom wood carving from renouned wildlife artist Ron Richards. The resulting artwork was a raised relief showing three hummingbirds hovering in flight. Hummingbirds represent abundant life and joy, and they were chosen as a symbolic representation of our children.

Overall dimensions are 20-3/4" wide x 15" deep x 63" high.

At the present time I am undecided about adding some small drawer pulls to the design. While the drawers function well as they are I am thinking that pulls might provide a nice finishing touch. Perhaps I could turn something that's both decorative and functional - perhaps looking like the end of a knitting needle?

What do you think?


  1. Nicely done. Teresa must be happy. Memories of Oxbow with the hummingbirds. What are you going to do for this years birthday?


  2. Thanks MJ. Do you really expect me to give that info away?